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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,


I am looking for the best Soft DVD Player for my HTPC. I have Plasma 50 HD Capable TV and my HTPC has CL Audigy 2 ZS with Creative S700 5.1 speakers. For Video Card, I have ATI Radeon 9600 XT. My CPU is AMD XP 2.8.


I would like to get the best Picture Quality as well as best Sound (Dolby 5.1 is a must). I would also like for the Player to take advantage of my hardware (ATI 9600 XT -- Hardware acceleration, CreativeLabs Audigy 2 ZS)

where possible.



Thanks.
 

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This same question gets asked often and usually starts a Ford vs Chevy type debate. If you like to tweak get ZoomPlayer, if you want easy set top box type function, get TheaterTek.


Paul
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by automagic
This same question gets asked often ....
As Paul says...and if you are interested in the discussion details I suggest you use the search function.


PS: My favorite is TT.

____

Axel
 

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The best software DVD players, in threads I've read, seem to be these, in order:


1. Zoom Player, only because you can pick and choose codecs

2. TheaterTek (Sonic decoders)

3. NVDVD 3.0, which is due out soon and will supposedly be very good.

4. WinDVD

5. PowerDVD

6. Anything else


Some will switch #2 and #4, as there seems to be proponents of both. If you have #2, you'll need a #3, 4 or 5 anyway to play VCD's and SVCD's since TheaterTek does not.


I am sticking with TheaterTek and PowerDVD for now. PowerDVD is rock solid any plays anything TheaterTek barks at, but TheaterTek definitely looks better. When NVDVD 3.0 comes out, if its better than both, then it will be all I need.


My 2 cents, and my opinion only of course.


-Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Part of my confusion is that alot of these DVD players talk about Dolby 5.1 in the context of SPDIF / Digital-out to an external receiver/processor or otherwise 2 speaker stereo out.


I have a Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS sound card that is suppose to do Dolby 5.1 processing and pass the 5+1 channels out to external powered analog speakers.


Hence, I would like for my sound card to do the 5.1 processing (and not an external processor /receiver). How do I instruct my DVD player software to do that. As mentioned above, In the configuration -> Audio Tab, I don't find that option clearly (Perhaps it does that automatically).


This is where I need education / correction / guidance.


Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Valnar,


Thanks for the detailed response. Between #4 (WinDVD) and #5 (PowerDVD), which one would you prefer and why.


I noticed that you ranked PowerDVD lower than WinDVD but you own a PowerDVD.


If I go with your rational of having TheaterTek and one other. I am trying to decide should it be WinDVD or PowerDVD ?


I have used PowerDVD thus far and am used to its GUI hence a bit of bias there but I would need to upgrade/buy either one of them anyway.


Additionally, I also have the Dolby 5.1 processing issue (see my earlier response) that would make me pick one (WinDVD or PowerDVD) over the other.


Thanks again.
 

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rajurocket,


I had other issues with WinDVD that made me pick PowerDVD. Like I said, it just works (for me).


Also, the visual quality, IMO, between those two is pretty minimal on my 36" TV. Other's with 100" projectors will tell you different. Limit your search to WinDVD and PowerDVD, and read away!


nVidia's Forceware (NVDVD 3.0) is due out any week now. You may just want to wait and read the reviews.


-Robert
 

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First, seriously, play around with the search engine and you'll find hundreds of posts with people explaining what they like and why.


Second, I think the ranking of 1-5 in an earlier posts is a bit misleading. I think what you will see in the above mentioned threads is that there are 4 really good DVD playing programs, each with pros and cons. You can't go wrong with either of them so pick the one you like. But on this forum, ZP and TT are more popular.
 

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I have a 92-inch image from a CRT and the differences between WinDVD and PowerDVD are pretty minimal but windvd seems a bit smoother and powerdvd a bit more "coarse" or sharp. That is the only way I can put it. I go back and forth as to which I prefer. But in the end I use ffdshow with both.


Brian
 
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